Hurricane Florence Shifts South as Carolinas Hunker Down

Gwen Vasquez
September 14, 2018

The 400-mile wide storm is predicted to start slamming the N.C. coast Thursday night to early Friday, then weaken to a tropical storm as it drifts into SC, said John Quagliariello, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Columbia. Another 8 million people live in areas covered by hurricane and tropical storm warnings.

More than one million people had been ordered to evacuate the coasts of the Carolinas and Virginia, and thousands had moved to emergency shelters, officials said.

The deadly storm has been downgraded to a Category 2 hurricane, but it is still expected to result in catastrophic flash floods, life-threatening storm surges, tropical storm-force winds and even tornadoes. The winds had been as high as 140 miles per hour earlier in the week.

Some people who had rejected calls to evacuate took walks along the water as they tried to enjoy a few final hours of normalcy before Florence's fury arrived.

"I don't care if this goes down to a Category 1", CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said on Thursday.

Ten miles (16 km) away in Wilmington, wind gusts were stirring up frothy white caps into the Cape Fear River.

"We've seen fatalities and deaths from tropical storms, from Category 1 storms and from Category 2 storms", Becker said. "I am frightened about what's coming. Right now all we can do is pray for the best". "We know that this is an extremely unsafe situation", Cooper told "CBS This Morning" on Thursday.

"Hurricane Florence was uninvited but she's just about here anyway", he said at a news conference.

Energy companies have also warned that the storm could knock out power for the foreseeable future in some areas. "Today the threat becomes a reality".

More news: Georgia declares state of emergency

Hurricane Florence, the Category 2 storm heading straight for my parents' SC house, has the country on high alert. The main highway in the Outer Banks was closed in parts as seawater pushed in. Some 11,000 power outages had been reported by Thursday morning.

The wave action and strong winds of Florence will cause a large amount of water to pile up along the coast of North and SC.

"The traffic control points or lane reversals are still in effect", said Joseph Hill, police chief in Horry County, S.C., at a news conference Wednesday in Myrtle Beach.

Florence's eye could come ashore early Friday around the North Carolina-South Carolina line.

"3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico", Trump said on Twitter. "I've never been one to leave for a storm but this one kind of had me spooked". While, of course, this is a good thing, by no means should anyone down in the Carolinas feel that they are out of the woods.

Trump provided no evidence to support his challenge on Maria.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, concerned the storm would bring its devastation south, issued an emergency declaration for all 159 counties in his state.

A power outage model run at the University of MI projects that 3.2 million customers will be without electricity because of the storm, mostly in the eastern half of North Carolina.

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